By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this column, I will continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address the second “B,” which stands for balance.
In this regard, we are discussing balancing benevolence and self–focus within your organization(s).
Benevolence is one of our tenets at TNT Jujitsu here in Houston. Our instructor, Hanshi Torey, often emphasizes the merits of being kind, but he also warns that kindness should have limits. As leaders and business owners, your profits and business development are important. Many of us, however, struggle and even lose sleep over making difficult decisions.
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with putting your fiscal and physical health first. I remember my parents having a couple of regular customers at their liquor store who always wanted a discount or favor. My parents were quite kind about it — until the day when one of...
By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman
In a recent column, I discussed the need for focusing on enrollments during the summer month. Even though summer enrollments are often less than stellar, it's important that we work towards getting new students.
I suggested ways to capture the low-hanging fruit: siblings and parents. Assuming you’re focused on new-member enrollment, a focus equal in importance during the summer is retention. It does no good to open the front door to a new student only to lose one through the back door.
There are quite a few reasons that summer retention is difficult. First, you are competing with the swimming pool and the season’s extended daylight hours. As much fun as it is to train in martial arts, in the summer months, staying out late and playing with friends is big competition.
There’s no getting around heat and nice weather being an issue for many students. Just as important is the fact that families break their normal...
By Karen Eden
Olympic medalist and World Champion figure skater Nathan Chen has a claim that, to this day, no other person in history can make. Nathan is the only figure skater to ever complete six quad jumps in competition. He has officially been deemed “the Quad King.”
A quad, or quadruple, is a figure skating jump with at least three, but fewer than four, revolutions. It is the jump that separates professional skaters from champion skaters. On average, Chen has practiced four hours of figure skating a day since the age of three. He is now 19 years old.
One day, Nathan did the math and figured out that he has jumped a minimum of 350,000 times in his life. As impressed as everyone who heard that was, they were taken aback when he followed it up with, “That means that I’ve also fallen at least 150,000 times, too.”...
By Christopher Rappold
When I walk into a school and see two or three high-level students training at the prime time (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm), with no other members in site, my eyebrows raise. When I see a class full of students who are not performing the technical skills correctly, I get restless. Each of these extremes are different, but, in both cases, the school owners or instructors are probably making one of the 5 Mistakes that can sabotage a sparring program. So what are the 5 Mistakes? Well let’s take a look at each one so you can make certain you aren’t making them.
Mistake Number 1 – Teaching offense first.
Sparring is learning how to move with another partner. To do it well, a student needs to be able to relax. They can only relax if they feel safe. Instructors have to remember to perceive safety though the eyes and feelings of a beginner. Help everyone feel safe by teaching defense first.
Mistake Number 2 – Developing speed...
By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.
There is a very interesting and useful Internet tool that I recently became acquainted with: the Wayback Machine. Obviously, this tool is not something related to actual time travel. However, it allows a look back into the vast world of the Internet. This tool, maintained by a not-for-profit public entity, is basically an Internet archival service. Should you require something that was previously published on the Internet, this tool can take you there.
I recently used this tool to prove that someone partially pilfered my client’s Internet web content. Simply amending or deleting the content of web pages does not erase what was a part of the Internet in days gone by.
Many times in our business and personal lives, an incorrect filing can be remedied. Who among us has not filed an amended tax form or corrective deed to remedy an innocent mistake? Amended filings are very common.
However, there are several documents that, once filed,...
By Herb Borkland
Among other distinctions, cardio kickboxing and Impact Fitness entrepreneur Steve Doss grew up down the street from kickboxing pioneer Jim Harrison and knew pre-fame Chuck Norris. He trained with Bill Wallace at Elvis Presley’s legendary co-owned Tennessee Karate Institute and, in Corpus Christie, learned from pioneer karate champion Pat Burleson.
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Steve Doss: I grew up in Kansas City. Dad was a business man.
HB: How did you first hear about martial arts?
SD: Jim Harrison lived next door. His school was across the street from the high school I went to. He ran two floors: one for judo, the other for karate. Sparring was a bunch of men beating each other up and bleeding. Harrison’s [style of] kickboxing was holding up your hands like a boxer and jumping around.
I was a little scrawny guy and I was scared to death, but I took some classes. I never saw Jim,...
If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do!
Mike Metzger is a longtime MAIA Elite consultant and longer-time school owner and martial artist! He’s a regular at the SuperShow, and will be back with another seminar alongside Shane Tassoul this year! Get to know a little more about Mike in this post.
How long have you been a MAIA Elite Consultant?
I’ve been an Elite Consultant for 17 years!
What part of your work as a MAIA Consultant do you enjoy the most?
MAIA consults with school owners at all levels: some are doing well and just need help sharpening specific skill sets....
By MAIA Consultant Adam Parman
Learning how to properly market your martial arts school can often be confusing, expensive and frustrating. As small business owners, we are consistently being approached about new advertising opportunities that promise results, but offer no proven track record.
While nothing in life is guaranteed, I’ve found that there are some basic steps to marketing Hollywood movies that can help align your school’s name with larger national brands like major movie franchises and movie theaters. These movie tie-ins are low-cost, potentially high-profit opportunities. Just about every action film, including the mega-budget summer releases, contain plenty of martial arts fight scenes which makes the promo tie-in very credible.
Follow these easy steps to avoid common mistakes and generate new students for your school.
Step #1: Get a Booth
While doing demonstrations in the front lobby of a theater might cause an inquiry or two, it doesn’t...
By Justin L. Ford
The Many Benefits of a Great Demo Team
Do you hear that?
It's faint, but it sounds like a heartbeat.
Is that. . .the sound of your school?
While your students can be likened to the heart of your school, the reputation of your school can be considered the heartbeat. It is the echo of your success. If your “heartbeat” is weak, then your school is likely on the decline to death.
Simply put, your reputation comes from word of mouth. And you should be aware that people will talk about everything! This includes the cleanliness and appearance of your school, what happens on the training floor and, especially, how your...
By Deb Cupples
Repetition is critical to the improvement of technique. But finding ways to disguise the same old thing can diminish enthusiasm from both students and instructors. Injecting new life into old techniques, however, is not as difficult as you might think. Try this approach.
Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unassuming places. It may be hard to believe, but the inspiration I had for putting a new face on old teaching techniques came from a story that I was told, many years ago, in my teens. It’s a simple story about innovation to motivate out of desperation.
Here’s the story that crept back into my mind some 30-plus years later, and how it helped me keep the fire burning during classes when I’m not teaching anything new, but sewing down the seams of basic training.
I was told the following story when I was in my teens and it has stuck with me since then. It’s a simple story about a small town and how one man’s creativity...
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